Oakland Raiders Playoff Bound? Predicting Their Final 7 Games

Elias Trejo@@Elias_TrejoSenior Analyst IINovember 9, 2010

Are the Raiders Playoff Bound?: Predicting Oakland's Final 7 Games

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    OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Fans of the Oakland Raiders look on against of the Kansas City Chiefs during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 7, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The Raiders are headed into their bye week with a winning record for the first time since Rich Gannon was the quarterback.

    The Raiders are sitting at 5-4 and have a very tough schedule to end their season. If the Raiders can win four out of their last seven games, Oakland could surprise everyone and make the playoffs.

    The road to the playoffs will be anything but easy for the Raiders with their seven remaining games. Only one of their remaining seven opponents has a losing record, and four of those games are away from home.

    The Raiders are getting healthy, and there will be some key players returning. Nnamdi Asomugha should be at full strength, and John Henderson should be back as well. Offensive weapons Zach Miller, Louis Murphy and Chaz Schilens should all be back in the lineup after the bye week.

    Can the Raiders make the playoffs? Let's see how they do as I predict the final seven games for the Raiders.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 08:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws throws against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 8, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Steelers defeated the Bengals 27-21. (Photo by Matthew
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    This game should give the old timers goosebumps. The Raiders vs. the Steelers in a game with playoff implications late in the season?

    We all remember last year's game as Bruce Almighty led the Raiders to a valiant comeback. This year both teams are different, and both teams are much better.

    The Steelers are one of the best teams in the league, and the Raiders are one of the surprise teams in the league.

    The Raiders have two weeks to prepare for this one, and the Steelers will be coming off a big Sunday night game against the Patriots.

    I love what the Raiders have been doing in recent weeks, but I have a feeling this one will be the game that ends the streak.

    Pittsburgh is tough to beat anywhere, especially at home. This game will be a defensive battle, and the Steelers will contain Darren McFadden enough to win the game late.

    Steelers win 24-20, and the Raiders fall to 5-5.

Miami Dolphins

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    BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 7:  Chad Henne #7 of the Miami Dolphins looks for a receiver during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 7, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Dolphins 26-10. (Photo by Larry Fren
    Larry French/Getty Images

    The Miami Dolphins are a very good team and are tough on defense. They will be visiting Oakland, and this will be another physical game for the Raiders.

    The Raiders will have a big advantage playing in front of a SOLD-OUT CROWD. The Raider players let everyone know that having the fans show up was a big part of their victory. So start saving your money and go to this game, Raider Nation.

    The Raiders defense will do a good job containing the Dolphins' passing game. Brandon Marshall and Nnamdi Asomugha will meet again. This time Asomugha will most likely shadow him the whole game. This will cause problems for Chad Henne.

    The Raiders offense will also be able to move the ball more effectively against the Dolphins.

    Raiders win 27-24 and move to 6-5.

San Diego Chargers

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    HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 07:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers throws downfield as linebacker Brian Cushing #56 of the Houston Texans applies pressure at Reliant Stadium on November 7, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Im
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The Raiders will visit the Chargers in Week 13 of the NFL season. Philip Rivers is on fire, and he'll have all of his weapons back, including Vincent Jackson.

    This will essentially be a playoff game for both of these teams and an elimination game for the Chargers. The Raiders' strengths are their secondary and getting pressure on the quarterback.

    The Chargers were exposed by the Jets last year on how to beat them. The Raiders have the ability to frustrate Rivers on defense.

    Look for the Raiders to take advantage of the Chargers' lack of a running game, and look for Darren McFadden and Michael Bush to have big days of their own.

    The Chargers make a crucial special teams mistake and lose the game in another AFC West overtime thriller.

    Raiders win 23-20 to move to 7-5.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 31:  Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs the ball against Alan Ball#20 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 31, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The Raiders will visit Kirk Morrison and the Jaguars in Week 14, and Quentin Groves and John Henderson will be going back home.

    This game will be physical and will be all about the running game.

    Look for the Raiders to pressure David Garrard all day and contain Maurice Jones-Drew.

    The Raiders get better as the season progresses, and the play of their defense makes them one of the best units in the NFL.

    Look for the Raiders to go to Jacksonville and come away with a win.

    Raiders win 24-13 and move to 8-5 for the year.

Denver Broncos

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29:  Head coach of the Denver Broncos Josh McDaniels speaks to the media during a press conference prior to the start of a team training session at The Brit Oval on October 29, 2010 in London, England. The Denver Broncos will pla
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    The Raiders gave the Broncos a great gift by firing Mike Shanahan and making him available to Denver in the '90s. Shanahan enjoyed a great run in Denver and against the Raiders.

    In 2009 the Broncos decided it was only fair to give the Raiders a gift to show their appreciation. They hired Josh McDaniels. McDaniels later went on to let go of some of the best players on his roster.

    Many think McDaniels is really a spy sent by Al Davis to destroy the Broncos. I will not agree nor disagree with that conspiracy, but whatever the truth is McDaniels is doing a great job destroying the Denver Broncos.

    Well, the Raiders went to Denver and beat them 59-14, so I can only imagine this game will be worse for the Broncos.

    The Raiders win in one of the most lopsided games in the history of the NFL, and records are broken everywhere. Trying to figure out the score was a lot of math.

    Final score Raiders 118-7. Raiders now 9-5.

Indianapolis Colts

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    PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 07:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 7, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Colts come to Oakland to visit the Raiders. Peyton Manning finds himself in a rare spot late in the season. He has to play, and the Colts have to win this game to stay a half game ahead of the Titans.

    If the Colts lose this game, they will lose the division.

    The Raiders are a game away from winning the AFC West as the Chiefs and Chargers are behind them in the standings. If the Raiders clinch at home, they win the AFC West crown unless the Chiefs lose this week, and then they clinch anyway.

    On this day, Manning and the Colts will be too much for the Raiders. The best quarterback the NFL has seen in years will drive late in the game and set up his clutch kicker for a late game-winning field goal.

    The Raiders' offensive line struggles against the Colts' defensive ends.

    Colts win in a thriller, 27-24, as the Raiders move to 9-6.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 07:  Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs is sacked against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 7, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The Chiefs lost to the Titans. The Raiders come in at 9-6 and the Chiefs are 8-7, but the Raiders have the better division record.

    The Chiefs lost to the the Chargers and have a 3-2 divisional record, and the Raiders are sitting at 5-0 in the division.

    Bruce Gradkowski gets to start the final game as the Raiders rest their starters at the end of the season. Wow, did I just say that?

    Chiefs win in overtime 23-20 as they take advantage of the Raiders' second-string team.

    Raiders win the AFC West at 9-7 and host the Patriots in the first playoff game.

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